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It takes two to drive traffic

By pairing up with other relevant websites, retailers can expose their business to a whole new audience.

Driving traffic to a site is paramount for every business, so ensuring you get the highest traffic numbers from the right audience is vital. Affiliate marketing could be the answer.

This works by partnering with another site (often an editorial site such as a media publication or blog) which already has a regular volume of traffic. The partner site then sends traffic direct to the site via links.

The payment model for affiliate marketing works on a cost per action model. Payment is made to the affiliate only if a click-through results in a sale. This process allows businesses to quickly see which partners are providing the most effective results and campaigns can be modified accordingly.

To use affiliate marketing effectively, partners should be chosen carefully. Sites aimed at a similar audience to the brand or retailer will drive traffic from the right audience, but it can also be worth considering the more niche partner sites that will introduce the brand to a new but relevant audience.

When looking for a new audience, using a third party to put together an affiliate marketing strategy can be useful. As Owen Hewitson, client strategist at consultancy Affiliate Window, explains: “By profiling the affiliates on our network, Affiliate Window can segment them according to the types of promotion they offer and the sectors they are most active in. This enables us to match affiliates to wider marketing objectives and introduce partners who can access the most on-target users.”

Liane Dietrich, UK managing director of affiliate marketing firm LinkShare, says: “Brands need to team up with a network that will not only provide the technology needed, but that will select the right affiliates to generate the greatest return of traffic.”

Affiliate marketing can be a powerful and effective marketing strategy, providing a greater audience reach in an instantly measurable way. Dietrich explains: “The strongest affiliate networks are offering a wider range of channels for marketers to reach their consumer as effectively as possible.” Managed well, this can only result in an increase in conversion and sales.

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